Man Arrested For Using Botnet To Launch DoS Attacks

The alleged hacker used connections at a McDonald's and Best Buy to launch denial-of-service attacks and then heckle his victims.

A California man has been arrested for allegedly using a botnet to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against two businesses.

Gregory King, 21, of Fairfield, Calif., was arrested earlier this week on four counts of electronic transmission of codes to cause damage to protected computers. According to an indictment, which a grand jury issued last week, he used an army of 7,000 zombie computers in multiple attacks on Killanet, a forum for gamers and graphic designers, and CastleCops, a security community that battles spam, phishing and malware.

If convicted on all counts, King, who is known online as Silenz, Silenz420, sZ, GregK, and Gregk707, faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

The government reported that King used Internet connections at his parents' home, a public library, a McDonald's restaurant, and a Best Buy retail store to wage his attacks. According to the indictment, he also heckled his victims, taunting them before and after he attacked them.

The U.S. Attorney's Office out of Sacramento, Calif. reported that when federal agents arrived at King's home to arrest him on Monday morning, the defendant fled out the back door of his residence, carrying a laptop computer with him. He tried to hide it in some bushes in his backyard, but agents obtained a search warrant for the backyard area and seized the computer.

The indictment charges that starting in July of 2004, King launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Killanet's server, while also trying to infect other computers to make them part of his botnet. The attacks allegedly went on until December 2006, according to the indictment.

In a separate charge, the government contends that King launched DDoS attacks against CastleCops in February of this year.

Between the four counts, King allegedly cost his victims an estimated $20,000. No motive was given for the attacks.

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